My interest in the Amazon Kindle went up greatly when I read it will
hold up to 3500 ebooks. Now I'm not sure yet how many it'll hold in PDF
format, but dang, to have a few hundred technical reference books
available in a heartbeat...
Saw one at Staples the other day, and it was so thin, I thought at first
it was a cardboard facsimile until I noticed the power cord. Really a
slick looking unit. I've put it at the top of my wish list for Christmas...
There is a catch, however, and that is that the interface when reading PDF
files is clumsy and slow. One page per screen (small screen) is way too
small, so you have to enlarge it into four windows which don't scroll.
It -works- (after a fashion) and is infinitely better than
not-having-the-manual-at-all, but it is a frustrating interface if you're
used to using a PC or an iPad.
As light as cardboard, too...
...and hats off, too, to Amazon's very sensisble approach to repairs under
warranty. I dropped mine and broke the screen. My fault entirely. They
replaced it, free of charge, *almost* no-questions-asked, within a week (to
*Australia*!) I'm now using the new one, and am just about to post the
broken one back to them. (Note the order of operations.)
Obviously the sale of ebooks is more important to them than the hardware -
and good thing too.
Another thing - the Kindle screen is drop-dead gorgeous. It really looks
like printed paper. I have the small Kindle (for portability) and will
definitely be getting a big one (for reading convenience). I love my iPad,
too, but the Kindle wins hands-down for reading clarity and portability (not
to mention $$$).
Oh - the user interface (including "go-to") is utter crap, but I spend most
of the time reading and turning pages, not flicking and re-sizing and
Ah, good to get some feedback like this. Maybe I'll opt for the bigger
one. And good to know they'll deal with folks down under, as I'm headed
there in the not too distant future...
So, how hard is it to -find- the book you want? Is it straight
alphabetical, or can you organize books into folders by topic?
Yeah, that screen really is lovely, part of why I thought I was looking
at a fake for a few seconds.
Smaller one fits in big pockets. Big one wouldn't.
Sensible choice. (Both of them)
You can create "folders" and move your books into them. Sadly you cannot
(AFAIK) create a hierarchy of folders-within-folders, which is a shame for
me. I like over-organising my directories.
Still, simple folders is better than 'nowt.
There is a very comprehensive search function, which will search: your
stuff, kindle store, google, dictionary, wiki, or just take you to the web.
Did I mention it goes on the web?
I almost never use the search function, though. Prefer to keep my stuff in
You can sort your stuff by: title, author, collection (folder) or most
When I got my first one, I tried to peel off the printed instruction sheet
from the screen. There wasn't one. :-|
Not sure if it's still the case, but it used to be that the DX (big Kindle)
was the only one that could directly accept PDF files from a PC. The small
one required you to do something like email the file to Amazon where they
"converted" it to your Kindle.
If only I could verify my ownership of many of my books and have them on a
recycling them. That would be sweet. The one down side of drm is what happens
library after you die?
"Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect
government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home
in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Hmm, that brings up another question... I grabbed a number of the
military books on machining, electronics, and machine repair. I just
-assumed- that I could load up any book I wanted in PDF format.
I've ripped some CD's to MP3 and loaded them onto my Ipod with no DRM
verification, didn't see why the Kindle would be any different. Looks
like I'm wrong?
And you bring up a really good point about digital libraries. Printed
books can be handed down through several generations or more if cared for.
You can do that with ease on a Kindle.
Of the 300-odd titles I have on my Kindle, only one is DRMed, and that was
one that I downloaded as an experiment.
All the rest is text, html, pdf or some other doc that has been converted to
Kindle's .mobi format.
Only for current copyrighted books you buy through them.
Now *that* is a huge worry - not just for books, but for photos as well.
Thanks for the feedback on all points, much appreciated. I think I'll
try to find someone local with one that will load a PDF of my choice and
let me see how it looks. I'll pick a tech manual with pictures and/or
diagrams. If I can live with the smaller one, I'll get that, much more
convenient when flying down under (I have no trouble reading a paperback
and a couple magazines during the 14 hour flight...)
As long as the materials hold up, and the format is still
supported. The advantage to the printed page is that the "technology"
is proved, and the formats are still supported. (One could argue
about the problem of books recorded in a format/language no longer
readable - Linear B, Mayan, etc - but that doesn't meant he documents
are no longer completely inaccessible.)
Go for it!
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
That can preserve the data -- but how long will there be
compatible eBook readers to use those formats? There is a lot of
computer media which can't be read which is less than 50 years old.
How many of you have the ability to read punched tape formats?
(Let's see -- the common ones are 5-level Baudot, and 8-level ASCII
punched tape (from Teletypes and the like), but there are also other bit
codes which used the 8-level punched tape, such as the Freiden
Flexowriter (Sort of an 8-bit version of EBCDIC, but with shift-up and
shift-down codes needed)
And how many people have the equipment to play 78 RPM records
these days? (Let alone Edison cylinder recordings?)
And if you do -- how long will the sylus last on your turntable?
How many have reel-to-reel magnetic tape recorders?
How about wire recorders?
Amy movies in Beta format?
How about the large video disk format?
There are amazing collections of media which are no longer
readable in a practical sense.
For that matter -- how long will CD and DVD recorders be
How many still have 5-1/4" floppy drives on their computers?
(3-1/2" ones are fading away too, and what about 8" ones? I still have
those, but I would have to work to restart the machines which use the 8"
However -- print still works, as long as you have light (and
know how to read, of course). :-)
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